"Hats Off to the Horses: The Road to the Derby" - Prized

A Unique Online Derby Hat Auction Benefiting Old Friends

For the third consecutive year, MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS® and Old Friends are teaming up for an unparalleled online shopping experience: "Hats Off to the Horses: The Road to the Derby". This unique Derby hat fundraiser features one-of-a-kind couture Derby hats created by MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS® to benefit Old Friends.

For the second hat auction in this year's auction series, milliner Sally Faith Steinmann of MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS® has created this stunning one-of-a-kind couture Derby hat to honor the 1989 Breeders' Cup Turf Champion, Prized, one of the newest retirees at Old Friends of Kentucky.

Foaled in 1986 by Kris S. (Roberto) out of My Turbulent Miss (My Dad George), this striking bay arrived at Old Friends on August 4, 2011 from O'Sullivan Farms of West Virginia. He has since been joined by his brother, YOU AND I, and it seemed appropriate that this sire of multiple stakes winner, Brass Hat, and damsire of Paddy O'Prado should be honored with a grand chapeau of his own as he settles into his new life at Old Friends of Kentucky.

Beth Shannon of Old Friends characterizes this handsome bay stallion as being all about “elegance and strength,” and she described his coat as the color of "black coffee." To capture this warm imagery, a brilliant “espresso” dupioni silk was selected for the base of this 24-inch hat, and a single layer of black silk organza, triple-pleated in the very back, forms a soft, opaque edging that frames the face beautifully when the head is upturned.

Read about Prized here

An innovative trim design of sumptuous tones and textures was chosen to celebrate Prized's conformation, the racing colors of his stable and his impressive career as a talented equine athlete.

The green and black racing silks of Clover Racing Stable provided the basic color palette for the trimmings of this stunning Derby hat in a truly innovative combination of texture and design. The green tone palette is also used to commemorate Prized's victory in the 1989 Breeders' Cup Turf in his first start on grass, an extraordinary feat that has never been repeated by another racehorse since.

The centerpiece of the trim design is an enormous floral Marguerite created in layers of alternating spring green organza and clover taffeta petals that frame a ring of black silk organza mini rosettes framed by black satin leaves. The very heart of the flower is a medley of green beads of different shapes and sizes and a single black pebble button that is meant to capture Prized's steady sparkling eye.  

A medley of large black satin leaves, lined with black silk organza and nestled into black tulle and netting layers, softly frames the green Marguerite floral design.


Perhaps one of the most unique features of this amazing Derby hat design is the addition of a signature MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS® trim design, the black silk organza “feathers” of many different sizes, that curve and wrap gracefully all around the entire hat and over the brim edge. Indeed, some of the most striking angles are created with the use of this innovative technique that adds an element of graceful movement to the overall design reminiscent of the undulating motion of the Thoroughbred athlete at full gallop.    

One other innovation for the "Prized" hat was the weaving of a physical remembrance of the horse into the hat. Several strands of the great stallion's tail hairs were braided and woven into the trim of the hat itself, thereby creating a unique, one-of-a-kind Derby chapeau that is Prized not only in spirit but in substance as well...

For the finishing touch a black silk organza double bow with black satin knot was set into the very back of the hat, making the design captivating from every angle!

The purpose of this amazing millinery delight is to honor the life of Prized and all of the horses who, thanks to the generosity of those who support their aftercare, now graze in the warm sunshine of Dream Chase Farm for the rest of their lives.

The “Prized” hat is the second in our “Hats Off to the Horses” Derby hat auction series this season, and it will be up for bid from December 1st through the 11th, 2011. At the end of the month, the winning bidder's name will be announced (unless they prefer to remain anonymous).

Photo:  Prized Photo by Matt Wooley of Equisport Photos